Free humidifiers combat mold in Bucknell West Apartments

Juliette Gaggini

After an unusually high amount of mold has been found in dorms this year, the University West residents in the “Mods” have suffered through humid rooms and the widespread appearance of mold. After weeks of issues and vocal opposition by affected students, the school began addressing the complaints.

The problem arose early in the semester and residents began complaining about the living situation. On September 14, Housing Services sent an email to the “Mod” residents.

“As you may already be aware, the facilities team will be visiting each mod throughout the next week to clean the AC units and filters as a preventative measure. They will be arriving to student rooms each day at approximately 7:30 a.m., so please be prepared if you receive a knock at your door. This will be taken care of for you if you are not present. It will be helpful if your AC unit is clear and accessible – please be advised some of your items and furniture may be adjusted to access the AC unit,” the email noted.

“If you have any concerns regarding mildew or mold in your space, please make sure to submit a work request to the facilities team. Make sure your room number is correct when submitting a work request,” the email continued.

On Oct. 14, Housing Services emailed all the residents of the mods about delivering dehumidifiers to every “Mod.”

“Beginning today, the facilities team will be delivering dehumidifiers to each mod as quickly as we are able to procure them,” averred the email. “For best results, it is essential that you constantly run your dehumidifier — do not turn it off at night or when you are out of the room. As the machine pulls moisture from the air, its water reservoir will fill.” 

“Please be sure to empty the reservoir as necessary when you see the “full” signal in order to keep the machine running and ensure maximum drying of air. The reservoir bucket can be emptied in your shower drain,” the email said.

Though the effort is there to reduce humidity and many students appreciate having their AC units cleaned and getting dehumidifiers, others fear the University is not taking sufficient precautionary measures. 

Concerned Mod resident Maddie Wickers ’23 told The Bucknellian she is worried as she has already found mold in her mod. 

“I am concerned that the school is not doing enough to take precautions before we have more mold,” Wickers said. “We put in a work order and they said nothing was found in the vents, but the mold we found was in the closet not the vents.”

Bucknell West resident Brian Skeels ’23 showed concern to The Bucknellian about mold found in his room. 

“My roommate did have mold growing on his backpack that was under his bed. We have since gotten dehumidifiers and air purifiers,” Skeels said. “I got very sick and thought it was from mold but there is no way to know.”

When asked about his feelings toward the way the situation has been handled, Skeels expressed annoyance. 

“I was worried at first, but you learn to live with it. I am annoyed more than mad. It is a nuisance to think you have mold poisoning,” Skeels said. 

The mods are just one of the residential spaces on campus that have dealt with mold issues this semester. Students are hopeful the University will continue to address the mold as is fit. 

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